Every business nowadays fights for better performance to get ahead of other companies. So, companies are constantly searching for ways to overreach their business goals and get better results.
The tech field offers a lot of innovative solutions that enhance business performance. Implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT), is an example of technology that changes how enterprises approach process monitoring, automation, and data gathering.
In this article, we collected the main points you need to know about IoT for business, including how it can be helpful for your company.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The general idea behind the IoT is to create a network of devices that can communicate through the Internet. This is by now the best Internet of Things definition.
The Internet of Things devices collect and exchange data, optimize infrastructure expenses. It’s possible to integrate complex algorithms that reduce routine workload by using the IoT.
Nevertheless, small and medium businesses are also trying to bring IoT ideas to life. And, well, they are succeeding in their aspirations. According to the statistics, IoT will generate about $14.4 trillion of value by the end of 2030. In several market niches, IoT integration is already paying off.
IoT Business Trends and Challenges
IoT infiltrated medicine, manufacturing, retail, and many other fields. The IoT business opportunities widen as more and more enterprises embrace it. The popularity of IoT in business increased with the pandemics, as companies have experienced a strong need for automation and decreasing human involvement in the processes where it is possible. Vodafone’s survey claims that 84% of businesses successfully used IoT to adapt to the new reality last year.
So, what are the current trends and challenges in the IoT?
Automation isn’t a new concept, especially for industrial organizations. However, it doesn’t provide global connectivity between the whole company, rather between the individual departments. Hyperautomation, on the other hand, overcomes this challenge and creates a complete system that synchronizes all company’s departments.
IoT plays a significant role in this process. Connected sensors are designed to gather valuable info about the assets and operations. This way, the company has a constant flow of precise information that can further trigger other robotic solutions.
Hyperautomation also indirectly helps your employees: technologies become in charge of routine tasks, and your staff has more opportunities to express creativity and apply themselves to more advanced assignments.
Integration with other solutions
As we’ve already mentioned, IoT is usually used to gather data, while other technologies like AI or ML implements this data to solve business tasks. AI and IoT integration are some of the most popular combinations: IoT provides information, AI analyzes it, and makes balanced changes into the maintenance of your hardware and techniques.
The protection of IoT devices from cyberattacks has become the biggest challenge, and therefore, a critical trend. If someone got access to your connected devices, it might lead to a disaster. Now, developers pay double attention to IoT security and use two-factor authentication, crypto algorithms, and other means of security.
IoT and blockchain integration
The speedy development of IoT leads not only to the successful implementation of these technologies into our lives, but also to creating dangerous situations. Sensational hacking of smart devices via Mirai is a good example. That means security is what IoT needs most of all.
Meanwhile, blockchain is now used not only for transactions between users but also in a wide range of fields, including the financial market, the gaming industry, public administration, etc.
The tandem of a blockchain and the Internet of things gradually forms the basis of a new concept called “programmable economics.”
“With the Internet of things (IoT), things become smart, connected to each other, and more focused on increasing the role in the life of each person. The current concept of IoT lacks a critically important component – monetization. The success of the Internet of things will be achieved through the development of a new economic platform and the corresponding monetary model. Monetized “things” will predetermine the development of a new economy,” said David Furlonger, vice president and board member of Gartner.
Thus, the IoT and the blockchain open vast opportunities, both for the automation of everyday tasks and for decision support systems and the robotization of high-tech industries.
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing the interaction between products, customers, and techniques. When you implement the IoT applications in business, you can get data from multiple devices and monitor any aspect of your manufacturing or service providing (of course, with privacy being in consideration).
From this perspective, one of the best features of IoT is a wide variety of devices and industries where they can be implemented. Here are some examples:
- shipping trackers to monitor your inventory in the transit;
- heat and humidity sensors to track these essential indicators on the plants or greenhouses;
- connected cameras to ensure the security of workspaces or warehouses.
Turn devices into points of transactions. Understand usage patterns and seamlessly manage logistics and physical assets with the power of the IoT apps.
Planning to automate your business?
Learn how IoT can contribute to your company.
How IoT can improve your business performance
IoT can help any business niche, as every company is looking to reduce costs, improve productivity and increase the quality of products or services. We gathered some IoT ideas and examples that are used in different fields.
IoT in Facility Maintenance
Smart Home systems are widely known, but the same approach can be used to simplify the maintenance of your office or other facilities. It can help with:
- remote light control;
- access to security cameras;
- thermostat control;
- office appliances control.
Another great Internet of Things example is Niwa – the first automated watering system. Niwa controls the hydroponics of plants and feeds them properly in order to achieve optimal growing conditions 24/7.
IoT in Manufacturing
This is one of the most promising areas for IoT integration. This trend is also often referred to as the Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0.
Recently, Caterpillar Marine has saved $5 million by using Big Data and adopting a simple IoT sensor system. The company has used predictive analytics software, which identifies the optimum time for machinery maintenance.
While this example may seem applicable only to large companies, there are cheaper ways to save on production and maintenance by integrating IoT technologies.
Development of IIoT solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises includes:
- Engine sensors can reduce equipment wear by 30%.
- Soil analyzers can significantly cut the consumption of chemicals, seeds, and fertilizers.
- Delivery algorithms that will automatically order the replaceable parts for machinery.
IoT in Healthcare
In the healthcare industry, IoT brings many development opportunities. Connected devices automatically and remotely gather data about the patient state and efficiently monitor hospital staff and equipment.
Internet of medical things is predicted to grow, and it will reach $254.2 billion by 2026. It’s possible since connected devices bring the following benefits to healthcare:
- cost reduction on in-clinic visits and hospital stays;
- better accuracy in patients’ health monitoring, and, hence, faster diagnostics;
- better equipment management.
IoT in Retail
Although retail isn’t the most prominent field to apply IoT business application, it has also found its way and showed decent results. Brick-and-mortar stores use IoT to monitor their assets inside the shops and go through suppliers.
Food retailers applied smart sensors to monitor the food storage temperature. Whenever it becomes abnormal, the system gives an alert. With this simple flow and IoT applications, retails easily decrease the amount of spoiled food.
IoT is also used to automate in-shop purchases, remove employees and increase the speed of purchase transactions. Here are some of the most compelling examples.
Amazon opened an automated supermarket, Amazon Go. It has Just Walk Out technology that processes payments automatically without cashier assistance. The technology behind the system is quite simple. The client downloads the mobile app and enters the store, previously authorized. When finished shopping, the client’s credit card is charged automatically upon exiting the store. Such technology can be used in 24/7 stores to cut night-shift salaries.
Another approach is suggested by Panasonic. The company has created a smart cart. It is able to count the number of products selected by the buyer and calculate the total purchase cost. Besides, the cart will pack all the purchased goods themselves. The buyer will only have to pay.
IoT in Logistics
The main challenges here are related to warehouse and inventory management and manual data exchange between different parts of the supply chain. IoT, on the other hand, gives simple solutions for these issues.
Attaching simple sensors to goods and inventory simplifies its tracking and counting, as the data from the IoT sensor will be sent to the cloud automatically and will be available instantly. It also can prevent losses, for example, from employee theft.
Data accumulation from every process in the supply chain (order processing, delivery, financing, etc.) gives a basis for further forecasting. As IoT can provide accurate data on everything, the insight on the actual needs and capabilities of logistics becomes more realistic; thus, the management can adjust decisions and receive the best results possible.
IoT in HoReCa
Hotels and private sports clubs are already using smart bracelets to navigate guests across the territory. Hotels can implement IoT sensors to predict visitors’ routes and prepare beverages in advance, thus securing a better level of service.
On the other hand, smart food storage in a restaurant may analyze product inventory and, once it’s running low on supplies, it can make replenishment orders without human involvement.
IoT for restaurants provides:
- automatic product ordering;
- expiration date tracking;
- replenishment of cleaners;
- optimization of expenses.
IoT in Agriculture
IoT brings automation to agriculture as well. Of course, the main reason why you should apply IoT to your agriculture business is higher revenue. Other benefits are better decision-making access to the constant flow of data from the farm and greenhouses, increased production and quality. IoT application may be used to:
- track the movements and health condition of the cattle;
- embrace precise farming, when the data received from the sensor on the field, analyze the state of the soil and plants and determined the amount of water and fertilizer to be used;
- greenhouse automation.
Why choose GBKSOFT for IoT development?
Since 2011, the GBKSOFT team has been providing software development services that helped our clients to satisfy their business needs and improve their overall performance. As an IoT app development company, we offer you full digitalization of your company and automation of business processes.
By cooperating with us, you will also receive (apart from the high-quality solutions):
Need consultation on IoT solutions for your business?
Our Business Analysts will help you select a perfect feature set and tech stack that will help to turn your idea into a real project.
Whether you’re a growing startup or a global enterprise, you can shape the Internet of Things in your way as you create new business models and revenue streams. IoT has become the leading trend in business automation. With its help, any company in any field may increase its results and productivity, decrease operation costs and human resources. And it’s easily achievable by developing a custom IoT application.
Developing an IoT platform lets you connect sensors and devices to the cloud, collect & secure data, and gain insights in real-time to make timely business decisions. We’ll help you build, launch and manage IoT applications and solutions quickly, securely, and at scale.